Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Dear Mark ’ Category

16 Mar

Dear Mark: Low-Carb Sauce Thickeners

sauceDear Mark,

I’m trying to stay strictly primal/paleo, but I always run into problems when I need to thicken sauces or soups. I grew up learning to use flour/cornstarch like everyone else, but is there a good low-carb/primal alternative?

Thanks,
Raul

I received this email a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t the first. A number of readers have expressed their confusion when it comes to thickening sauces, gravies, or soups without using traditional floury methods. The question of thickening sauces is one of the hurdles I face every time I put up a recipe post – it’s become a bit of an internal struggle (as seen with last week’s beef and broccoli stir fry recipe, in which I hesitatingly called for a teaspoon of flour as a thickener) because while adding a bit of flour or cornstarch to a larger recipe may not drastically impact the carb count, it does complicate the consistently Primal message I try to convey. This post, I hope, will resolve that struggle.

9 Mar

How to Relieve Sore Muscles

soremuscleDear Mark,

Been eating primal for a few months now, loving it, but I just started doing some workouts and the soreness that comes a day or two later is just killing me. Does it get better? Maybe I’m doing them wrong?

Thanks,
Jill

Thanks, Jill, for the question. It’s a subject that, had you not mentioned it, might never have popped up. What you’re describing is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it’s completely normal – especially for people just getting started exercising. The symptoms include muscle tenderness, soreness, weakness, and even swelling. As you’ve noticed, DOMS usually manifests a day or two after a particularly strenuous workout. It afflicts millions of people, from weekend warriors to hard-core athletes. Some dread it; others relish the feeling for days as proof that they’re making progress. But despite its ubiquity, science still hasn’t been able to nail down the precise cause of DOMS.

23 Feb

Dear Mark: Vitamin K2

Picture26Dear Mark,

I’ve been hearing a lot about vitamin K2 lately. Should I be taking vitamin K2 supplements or is a Primal diet sufficient?

Kate

Thank you, Kate, for the question.

You find it in politics, fashion, entertainment, art, even cooking: the “it” figure, new notable, celebrity du jour. As odd as it is, the seemingly humble world of micronutrients isn’t immune from spotlight blitz. Some vitamin or mineral, subject of a timely string of studies, gets thrust into the limelight, and the medical media jumps on the news. Sometimes the hoopla is warranted. Oftentimes, it’s overblown. Most of the time, it’s here today gone tomorrow. Such an odd frame for public health education, I think – and likely the reason many people shut out such reports all together. One day, it’s a miracle nutrient. The next, it’s torn down as “not all that.” Recently, vitamin D has been the one to adorn the marquis. But there’s another novel nutrient chasing its heels: the nebulous, little known vitamin K2.

16 Feb

Dear Mark: Blood Markers

bloodtestDear Mark,

Could you write an article on blood “markers” (cholesterols, triglycerides, blood sugar and … C-reactive protein)??? What are they?  How can they be monitored and managed? Thanks mucho!  Can’t wait for your book.

Thanks to Rob for the question today. Blood markers are essentially detectable and measurable substances in the blood. Their interpretations are based on the levels found and their correlations with disease or other health concerns the medical/research community has assigned to these substances. A blood workup can vary and run into the hundreds of markers, but (for today at least) let me focus on the key categories Rob mentioned.

9 Feb

Dear Mark: Don’t Call it a “Diet”

83461812 98c531176cDear Mark,

I’m fairly new to your blog and have been reading your commentary on motivation/failure (the Oprah post, Excuses and Get Real) with interest. I’ve been moving toward primal eating in the last few months more for general health reasons than any need for weight loss. I’m curious though because it seems like a lot of readers use it as a weight loss plan. I have friends who are interested in what I’m doing but tell me they’re looking for more of a diet. What should I tell them?

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